Archives for February 2011

Everyone Deserves A Lovely Home {but how we get there is up to us}

Everyone Deserves A Lovely Home {but how we get there is up to us}My old house….lovely lanterns, cobwebs and all.

There are endless discussions and advice around blogland and in magazines for what makes a lovely home — and how to go about creating one for yourself. You can get decorating advice on one blog that seems amazing, and then head on to another one and be completely confused again about what you like. There are so many options! And so many distractions. It can be overwhelming.

But when it comes right down to it, how we decorate our homes is up to us. There is no one “right way” to do it. We have to find our own path to a home we love.

Even if “everyone” is doing something it doesn’t mean we have to copy it. And just because “everyone” is doing something doesn’t mean we CAN’T do our own version. We can be as conformist or original or as trendy as we like. We get to decide!

What might be an overly staged and decorated look for one person is an artistic and creative home to another. What is full of character for some people might seem old and outdated to others. What is sterile and boring might be clean and fresh to another.  And what is lively and modern to one might be garish or trendy to another.

How we get there, to that “lovely home,” is a personal endeavor. It is easy to misunderstand or even envy the style of someone who is in a different place in life, has different goals or insights, or appreciates beauty in things others do not.

We are all on our own path to create beauty at home. Even if we are confident in our style, we still all still long for acceptance, for a thumbs up, for a great compliment. If you are a blogger, it is easy to judge yourself based on how many “likes” you got or fans you have or where your ideas have been featured or how many comments you got.

It is hard to see other people getting a bazillion raving comments on a project that may or may not be deserving, and then you wonder why no one cares that you just poured your heart and soul into your space and only heard a few crickets in response!

Of course, many of us struggle at least a little, wondering if our choices are truly what we love or would do under non-blogging circumstances, or are they influenced by what every one else has or how popular the idea might be in blogland! And it is easy to second guess yourself or what you do if your idea won’t be winning the popularity contest.

But in real life, most people don’t judge their decorating choices based on how popular it is online. Blogland makes people a little crazy sometimes. We can lose sight of what matters.

We all grow and evolve as we get older. We might have regrets or lessons learned. We can start to find our rhythm and what works for us. We can hopefully find confidence in who we have become.

We need to give ourselves and each other room to grow, to experiment, to fail, to learn and room to be ourselves no matter where we are on our “home journey” — whether we are followers or creative trailblazers, blog writers or blog readers — we all are looking for our own style and way of living that works for us. We all deserve a lovely home, but how we get there is up to us!

Enjoy the links in this post, and when you are done with these, you can find my weekly round up on my Inspiring Finds page!

My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!

My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!

Finally! My new dining room lantern is here!

Well, one look at the picture might tell you I chose an entirely different lantern than I originally had proposed. But I’m in LOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVE.

If you will recall, I was given a gift card by the good people at Apartment Guide to make over a corner of my home. WHEEEE! A gift card? For me? YES, PLEASE AND THANK YOU!

I’ve been on a mission to make my home more like US so getting to shop for my home with a gift card was a dream come true for this mom on a meager budget!

My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!

A view from another angle

Even though I was using a gift card and not my own money, I still wanted to make the best decision I could, since this lantern would be a part of our every day experience of living in our home!

I have had a long time love of lanterns, especially ones with character and personality. I have had beautiful old lanterns in EVERY HOME I’ve had. While not everyone might love lanterns like I do, they are a part of what makes me feel at home. Do you have things like that?

About 650 of you helped me choose between the two lanterns I proposed. Um, yeah, that is A LOT OF OPINIONS! While I am not usually one to let others sway my decisions for my home (after all, I am the one who needs to love my house), you guys rocked the comments with invaluable suggestions and insights. You are smart and have great style too, I might add!

My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!And now, a view with the lights off, so you aren’t as blinded by the lightbulbs.

How can I thank you enough for taking the time to think about my choices and give your own recommendations and experiences? I was amazed at your generous and insightful suggestions and grateful for your input! You definitely got my wheels turning and I had many “ah ah” moments thanks to your suggestions.

In the end, it came down to having to go with my gut on what I love, and as always, making compromises.

My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!

Good-bye, old light.

My compromises usually involve matters of cost, using what I have versus buying something new, making choices both my husband and I will love, and weighing what is practical or makes sense versus what might be fun or frivolous. And of course, there is always the discussion in blogland over whether we should buy something new or remake something old.

Shopping with a gift card is an entirely different experience than using your own hard earned money (but still not without stress). You’d think it would be easy to spend a gift card, but when you are as passionate about your home and surroundings like I am you want to find something you LOVE! And that is not always easy.

My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!

a view of the lantern with more of the still unfinished room

I was taking photos and it was SNOWING outside!
Which means it was extra cozy and moody in my house,
just the way I like it in Winter!

Although I tried and tried to find a lantern secondhand, after searching the Re-Store and all second hand lighting options around me, it became clear that second hand was not going to work for me this time. Sometimes I’ve found amazing antique or second hand lighting for my home (that is another post!). But not this time, secondhand was out.

My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!

And now, a view from below. lol,
Don’t you love how bloggers show ten photos of the same light?
{When we clean the glass it will be even more beautiful!}

When I went to check on the availability of the Wisteria lantern, the overwhelming interest in that lantern apparently had caused it to go OUT OF STOCK for at least a month! Ha! Guess next time I want something I’m not gonna tell you about it first. So that took care of option number one.

While I have loved the Pottery Barn bell lantern for years and years now and STILL DO,  after careful thought and reading all of your comments about dead bugs in the jar (oh how I love how you thought about the dead bugs I’d be finding hanging above my dinner table!!!), I decided it was not the one I really wanted for my dining room.

That took me on another search for “the right” lantern. Am I the only woman alive that would obsess like this over a dining room light? I think not. I would be lying if I told you there were not a few sleepless nights over this decision.

My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!

And one final look back from this angle.

After researching and considering every lantern option known to womankind, within my gift card budget, and asking for my husband’s opinion, and finding out which lanterns were the right size for my room and table (not too big, not too small), in stock and ready to ship now (because I’m picky and impatient like that), I ended up with this GORGEOUS lantern.

Yesterday my husband and I brought out our his and hers ladders (YAY! My new ladder came in handy already!) and installed this Pottery Barn beauty in its new home. Our home.

I’m still not done with the dining room but my new lantern helped me taken a giant leap forward towards the character I was hoping for in this small dining room.

FINALLY. More old house character in my new house!

My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!

If this peek at our his & hers ladders nestled side by side  doesn’t warm your heart, I don’t know what will.

I will say that this is not a very bright lantern so if you need lots of light, you might need additional lighting sources. I have large windows and extra lamps so it works fine for me but it is something to consider.

Here are the details on the light from Pottery Barn, I’ve heard from several readers that they cannot find it online so you might have to call and inquire about it:

Pottery Barn

For those discerning readers, it does happen to be the same lantern Holly has in her dining room, and I almost had a heart attack about choosing the same one (cause I like to be original and all) but mine has a copper top and hers is black so I guess we are still unique. She has brilliant taste, what can I say.


Thank you, Apartment Guide for inviting me to be a part of the New Year New Space Challenge. Apartment Guide is an online resource all about making the most of your home, no matter where you live.My New Dining Room Lantern is Here!
Apartment Guide is owned by Consumer Source, Inc. Apartment Guide partnered with bloggers such as myself to participate in its New Year, New Space Blogger Challenge. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the New Year, New Space Blogger Challenge. Apartment Guide and Consumer Source believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.